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Coast Guard Halts Ocean Boat Races After Fatal Farallones Crash

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The sailing vessel Low Speed Chase after it crashed on the Farallon Islands. (San Francisco Chronicle/Polaris)

The sailing vessel Low Speed Chase after it crashed on the Farallon Islands. (San Francisco Chronicle/Polaris)

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – The Coast Guard has temporarily stopped boat races in San Francisco Bay Area ocean waters following a deadly yacht crash.

The restriction issued Thursday requires racing vessels to stay within the bay.

Coast Guard Capt. Cynthia Stowe said it would allow the Coast Guard and the offshore racing community to improve safety. A safety review by US Sailing, the governing body of yacht racing, is expected to be completed within the next month.

The restriction comes after five crew members of the 38-foot boat Low Speed Chase died when the vessel was hit by waves while rounding the Farallon Islands in the Pacific during an April 14 race.

KCBS’ Chris Filippi Reports:

The Coast Guard was helping offshore racing organizers adjust the courses for two upcoming sailing races to be affected by the new restriction – the Offshore Yacht Racing Association Duxship Race on Saturday and the Singlehanded Sailing Society Farallons Race on May 12.

Races that stay within the Bay past the demarcation line from Point Bonita to Land’s End will not be affected, Coast Guard officials said.

The Coast Guard was asking all offshore race organizers and participants to conduct their own safety stand-downs.

During the stand-down, U.S. Sailing, the national governing body for sailing sports, was conducting an independent review of Bay Area offshore racing safety procedures, according to the Coast Guard.

Among the crew members of the Low Speed Chase who perished in last weekend’s crash, the body of 46-year-old Marc Kasanin of Belvedere was the only one recovered.

Four others — Alexis Busch, of Larkspur; Alan Cahill, of Tiburon; Jordan Fromm, 25, of Kentfield; and Elmer Morrissey, of Ireland — remained missing and were presumed dead.
(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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